This Is A Test Post Of The Blog System
Mar 25 2014

As I try to resolve the issue of spam being inserted into my email feed, it seems the only way to test if the issue has been corrected (after making changes) is to write a test post and check my inbox in the morning. :-)

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Therefore, here is a test post.  If the issue has been fixed, my follow on post will be about my two songs that are now live in iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify!  It’s been a long journey and somewhat anti-climactic at this point, but I can’t believe I finally faced a fear of putting my “art” out there for the world to judge, hate, like, love, or be indifferent about.  It is what it is and now it’s out there: Soul Escape and Save Me From Myself under the album cover of Metaphor Mania and artist of Aruni S. Gunasegaram.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, music, singing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

In The Interest of Time…
Apr 2 2013

Congratulations to Eric Tung, a former undergrad student of mine from my adjunct lecturing days at The University of Texas at Austin, for winning the Jackson 5ive video!  It’s strange to know that my former students already have kids of their own, and he has far surpassed his Intro to Entrepreneurship teacher in the world of social media!

There is much going on and my entrepreneurial life juggle has (again) taken precedence over blogging, so I leave you with these interesting reads:

How to Deal with Negative People – Texas Enterprise

Decision making for the indecisive – The Washington Post

Advice for CEOs in We Are Austin Tech Video – The American CEO

Make room for A players: Stars don’t always turn up on your schedule – The American CEO

The loneliness epidemic – Seth Godin

Studying entrepreneurship without doing it – Seth Godin

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Imagine That. It’s 2013!
Jan 6 2013

Happy New Year!   From what I’ve observed at this point in my life, it seems to me that there really is no telling what awaits around the corner with regards to jobs, kids, health, love, or whatever, so I’ve given up on resolutions for the time being.  We are living in interesting times, and I have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to experience many things…some of my choosing and most not of my choosing.  Maybe I will live long enough and happen upon the right muse(s) along the way to enable me to write more about it…

So in 2013 I’ll just do my best to breathe deep, laugh with my kids, and spend time with people who support/love me & my kids (i.e., no fair weather friends or family).  I’ll continue to do my best at whatever I’m attempting to do and support others even if I find myself in less than ideal circumstances or around negative people, which seems to be happening less and less.  I also will continue to come to grips with the reality of my busy life (e.g., it took me close to 5 days to actually finish writing this short post because of work, facebook, watching TV, words with friends, going to the movies, spending time with real offline friends, downtime, and kid stuff!). :-)

May you experience the most peace, love, and joy possible in 2013!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, holiday, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Insta-Success, Connected But Alone, Finding Your Voice
Apr 12 2012

I, and many others, still can’t fully figure out how Instagram got sold for $1 billion to facebook within 17 months of being founded.  Why are some people in the right place at the right time doing the proverbial right thing to bring them that kind of lottery like winnings?  It makes my head hurt trying to rationalize it all, but congratulations to them!  May they use their new found wealth wisely.

A friend sent me a link to this Ted Talk called Connected, but alone? by Sherry Turkle.  It’s an interesting take on the dangers of us being connected virtually but not personally.  I agree with some but not all of what she says.  We are a much more distracted society and what we define as being alone and lonely have changed over time.  She says that people flock to social networks because deep down they feel like no one is listening and said “we expect more from technology than we do from each other and being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved.”  And more profound “I share therefore I am.” And “Solitude is where you find yourself.”

Fred Wilson, A-list venture capitalist blogger, posted about Finding Your Voice and how blogging has helped him and his wife find and express their voices.  Social media has helped him and others find their place in the Internet world.  Arguably, there are some out there who many of us would be fine not reading or hearing about, but for many of us who struggled to express ourselves growing up, it’s a great medium to share and discover we are not alone in the way we think, feel, and process information.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship, random stuff, social media, social networks | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Why Every Small Business Should Have Inventory Management Software
Mar 8 2012

Following is a guest post by a writer for Ordoro, a company I used to work with while I was at the Austin Technology Incubator.  When she reached out to me to see if I would accept a guest post, I chuckled and thought what a small world it was.  I like the team at Ordoro.  They are doing great things and making a difference for small businesses.

Carolyn is a guest post writer on the subjects of small business management, small business tools, and inventory control. She believes that the right software is an essential part of what it takes for startups to succeed.

Why Every Small Business Should Have Inventory Management Software

Inventory will hog all of your company’s cash if you allow it to do so. Think about it. You pay your suppliers, and you wait for them to ship goods to you. Then you wait for your employees to turn those goods into finished products you can sell. Once the products are ready to sell, you have to wait for customers to buy them. As you may have noticed, turning inventory into cash involves a lot of waiting. That’s why it’s essential that you do everything you can to increase your inventory turnover rate as much as possible. When it comes to inventory control, one of the most effective tools a small business owner can take advantage of is inventory management software. Here’s what inventory management software can do for your small business:

  • Inventory control software helps you identify what you need to order from suppliers at any given time. This kind of software gives you a clear picture of your inventory levels. If your bestselling product is almost sold out, it’s probably crucial that you order more of it as soon as possible. If you aren’t using software that allows you to monitor your inventory levels easily, it’s much more difficult to order what you need when you need it.
  • Small business inventory software helps you identify slow-moving products. If you analyze the data provided by inventory management software, it will be more simple and efficient for you to identify products that are slow-moving. Once you know what isn’t selling, you can order less of it from your suppliers and ultimately have more cash freed up to purchase other inventory that is selling well.
  • Tracking inventory shipments from multiple suppliers can be difficult, and inventory management software can help. It’s crucial that you know when inventory is going to arrive, so you can plan your sales efforts accordingly. Inventory management software is probably the best tool to use if you want to track your orders and shipments from different suppliers.
  • If you’re an e-commerce merchant, inventory management software like the software offered by Ordoro will help you keep track of your inventory across multiple webstores. It’s no small feat to keep track of what’s being sold where and what’s in stock overall as a result. That’s why it’s generally a good idea for e-commerce merchants to enlist the help of some quality software, especially if they’re trying to run a small business without much help from anyone else.

Inventory management software is hardly ever expensive, especially when you consider the ROI. With this type of software, you’ll be able to increase your inventory turnover rate by ordering what you need, halting orders of what you don’t need, getting the most out of your relationships with suppliers, and staying organized no matter how many stores or webstores you own. So, why make things harder on yourself without this integral software tool?

 

Author: | Filed under: austin technology incubator, blogging, entrepreneurship, FYI, guest post | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

Memories On Memorial Day Weekend
May 30 2011

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  I certainly spent a lot of time reminiscing about old memories with long time friends while the kids played during the day and into the wee hours of the morning when the kids were asleep.  We created new memories with old and new friends.  My kids had fun playing, swimming, playing games on the iPhone and Wii, eating hot dogs, seeing Kung Fu Panda 2, etc.

It’s great to have old friends to ground you and remind you of who you were back then and talk about how we have all changed and/or stayed the same.  It’s good to have new friends who  know you now (i.e., after kids).  New friends open you up to new and different experiences because they don’t know who you are supposed to be, and they don’t let your old self hold back your new self.  Under their influence you may be able to see and experience things you never have before.

But Memorial Day weekend is about remembering those Americans who died for our freedom.  So, thank you to those who serve, who have served, and whose families support them while they continue to protect us so people like me can hang out with our friends during this long weekend.  I’m ever so grateful that I live in the United States and have had the opportunities that I have had, including the ability to express myself on this here blog.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, national holiday | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

entrepreMusings – New Blog Design
May 9 2011

It’s finally here!  I have a new blog design and it’s really cool.  It’s simple, it’s clean, it’s pretty, it’s fabulous and it was designed by Brian Hurdle, IT/network guy by day, wedding photographer extraordinaire by night/weekends.  I’ve changed the subtitle from “babbling about business, babies, and parenthood” to “babbling about business, parenting, and music.”  My kids aren’t babies anymore.  I realized it’s been closer to 4 years since I started blogging (thanks to Connie Reece) and a blog redesign was way overdue!  And my current entrepreneurial endeavor is music related.

The design incorporates musical notes, buildings, paisley type designs, and of course elephants!  Elephants are my favorite animals, and I have a collection of various elephant figurines.  My songwriting partner and I have been making progress on music creation, and we have 5 songs in various stages of completion.  We even have a band name, a facebook page (if you are really curious to know the name, you’ll just have to click that link), and a YouTube channel.

We haven’t done much promotion of any of these because our songs aren’t ready to publish, but we may begin promoting at least the facebook page so we can get support from folks to help us make sure we do complete what we set out to do.  This will be no easy task given both of our busy schedules and different worlds.  He’s a professional musician and I’m a professional “wondering what to do with my life next while wreaking havoc in some small business” type of person.

Thanks Brian for exercising your creative muscles to come up with a design that makes me happy!  Next he’ll be updating my twitter page (which I rarely use but may one day be worth something since I was a fairly early adopter) to match the blog design.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship, FYI, marketing, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Signal to Noise
Jan 30 2011

A couple of years ago someone I know mentioned the term ‘signal to noise’ when talking about social media and my tweet stream in particular.  His comment indicated that he thought I was putting out more noise than signal, which was probably true.  I used to tweet a lot more than I do now and he said this during South by Southwest Interactive when everyone was tweeting.  Currently, most of my tweets are just links to my blog posts.  I had already been using twitter for some time and he was new to twitter. I had close to 2,000 followers and was following maybe 700 people at the time and he was probably following 50 people so, in proportion, my tweets appeared more often in his twitter stream than most people’s appear in mine.

It’s true that social media tools have provided a platform for noisiness.  People put out a lot of noise and seemingly irrelevant information about themselves and others.  But people are noisy in person whether they are talking a lot, writing a lot, or paradoxically not saying anything at all.  There can be a lot of ‘noise’ in silence.  When I say ‘noise,’ I mean information.  Some people can decide that what a person is saying or not saying is irrelevant and dismiss it as mere noise, but, in my opinion, there is always ‘signal’ in there somewhere.  Whether we want to spend time or care to understand the signal and what it’s telling us is another thing.

Interestingly, a company called Mass Relevance (Austin Startup blog post), recently launched and funded here in Austin, seems to me to be trying to separate signal from noise based on one of the executives answers to a question in the blog post:

Q: Only a small fraction of social status messages (like tweets) get viewed. Is there real value in that data?

That’s exactly the point. More user generated and social content is being created than we can consume. The future is in finding relevance, curating for context, and syndicating this to the right audience at the right place. A good analogy of the value of all this data is like web analytics. If there’s only two web analytics report you view about your web site, is there value in the rest of the log data? Of course there is, you’re just not getting at it. We know that there’s tremendous untapped value in data, as there is in social content. The value is in how to aggregate, curate, display relevant content, create participation around the conversation, and analyze how it drives real business metrics. And it’s more than just technology. We have the expertise, service and support to make this work for large companies.

I wish them luck in finding relevant, poignant signals for their clients.  I just hope people don’t stop looking at and listening to people directly instead of just sifting through their words on a social media platform.  If you pay attention, you can pick up very strong signals directly from a “noisy” person that can help you work with and manage people and even understand your customer better than just what they write down in 140 characters or less.  As they say, close to 80% of human communication is non-verbal and never gets put on a computer screen or paper.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Posts In Progress
Jan 17 2011

I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. I have a few mulling around in my head and a guest post waiting to be published that I haven’t had time to review. In case you are interested, here are the potential titles of those posts: “Signal to Noise – What Really Is Noise?” and “Everything In Moderation – What Really Is Moderation?” and “Helping Young Moms Go To School” and “Something About Entrepreneurship (well, that’s not really the title but I guess it could be!).”

Author: | Filed under: blogging, entrepreneurship, guest post, parenting | Tags: , , , | Comments Off

10 Questions to Answer as You Work to Build Your Blog Brand
Nov 17 2010

This post is a stop along Tanya Peterson’s Blog Tour 2010.  Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina, where she writes about blogging your way to success.  Be sure to check out all the other stops along the tour and enter to win $100 to use in improving your own blog!

10 Questions to Answer as You Work to Build Your Blog Brand

As you seek to make your blog known, there are several important questions to consider and answer:

What is the end purpose you want to accomplish?

First and foremost, when considering how to build your blog name and brand, you need to answer the why question.  Why are you blogging?  Having a clear idea – for yourself – of what you are seeking to achieve through all your hard work will focus your branding efforts and make your work more effective.  Define your vision and all the other questions below will fall in line to make your branding efforts a success.

What are your goals to get to that purpose?

Now that you know more specifically what your vision is for you blog, decide on two or three goals for your blog.  Make them as specific as possible.  Where do you see your blog being in 5 years?  Dream big.  Is there a blog that you admire and want to emulate?  Decide what goals would help you do just that.

What steps will you take to reach those goals?

Now that you have a couple of overarching goals, what steps are you going to take to reach those goals?  Determine what you want to accomplish on your blog this year, this month, this week, and so on.  Write down your goals. Revisit them often and revise them as needed.

Who is your target audience?

Now it’s time to do a little research and determine who exactly it is that you want to reach with your blog.  Who are you seeking to benefit?  Try to be as specific as possible.  Instead of just wanting to reach moms, decide to reach stay-at-home moms who blog.  The more focused and specific that your niche is, the more success you will have in marketing to your reader.

Who are your competitors?

Do a little more research to answer this question.  Look at the other blogs reaching your target market.  What are they doing that works?  What doesn’t seem to be working?  If the occasion arises, ask the bloggers in your niche about their success.  How did they get to be where they are?

What do you have to offer above and beyond your competition?

Again, take a look at the other blogs in your niche.  What are some things that you can offer to your readers that isn’t already being offered?  What about your blog will make readers visit it instead of the hundreds of others out there?  Be sure to determine the answer to this question – and then use it in your advertising.  Let people know why your blog is different… and why they’ll love it!

When people think of you, what do you want them to think of?

When someone remembers your blog, what do you want to come to mind?  Do you want them to think of how informative it was, how fun it was to read, how beautiful your design is, etc.?  Pick one or two specific things to focus on and put your efforts into standing out in those ways.

How will you market your brand?

Will you use a recognizable image?  Do you want people to know your face?  What will be your elevator pitch?

Where will you market your brand?

You can have the best blog that features the most helpful content out there – but if you can’t get it in front of the people who want to read it, it’s going nowhere.  Think about your target audience.  Where are they hanging out?  Where can you get in touch with them?  Do some research and brainstorming to find out – and then get there and start talking about your blog.

Have you considered doing a Blog Tour?

Guest posting is a great way to get the word out about your blog – and to build your brand!  If you’re interested in going on your own guest posting tour around the blogosphere, you can find more information at my Blog Tour homepage.

Taking the time to answer each of these questions clearly in your own mind will focus your efforts in marketing your blog.  More focus will then result in more success.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, networking | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments »

About Pain
Mar 19 2010

Some of you may have been wondering why I took such an extended blogging break and why I’ve been so spotty in the times between posting.  I thought quite some time about posting this, but then I thought I might never reach my potential as a writer or even as a human being if I don’t throw caution to the wind and risk offending or for that matter validating/pleasing others.   Plus I thought that if it helps one person or helps someone think differently even if just for a nanosecond, then it would have been worth it.  Some of you may recall I wrote About Laughter, About Sleep, About Writing and About Car Paint.  This post is About Pain.

There’s physical pain and then there’s emotional, mental, and spiritual pain.  Most of us have experienced all different kinds in life.  The worst physical pain in my life came as a result of breastfeeding my son over 7 1/2 years ago now.  I developed an infection that hurt so bad I couldn’t sleep and if I was able to nod off, I would wake up with tears in my eyes.  I remember thinking “I want to die right now, but I can’t because I must feed my baby.“  I was determined to breastfeed him no matter how many people said I should give up.  I have never wished to die before or since.  I have wished to be waited on hand & foot while laying in a hammock on a beach drinking a pina colada and having my feet massaged, so if that’s what happens after death, I’m all in!  Thankfully the maternal instinct is so strong, and we live in a day & age where antibiotics are available that in a few excruciating weeks the pain was gone. But I still occasionally have memory pain that has diminished over time.

But emotional, mental, and spiritual pain seems to last much longer (unless you have chronic physical pain which probably exacerbates the emotional kind as well).  And unfortunately, a week of antibiotics doesn’t cure this kind of pain.  This kind of pain can start from childhood and stick with you…flaring up at various times in your life when things trigger your deep seated fears and emotional memories.  There’s a theory that you are often attracted to people that have some of the same traits as people in your family did growing up because it’s a known/comfortable pattern.  The theory continues that down deep, you want to resolve some of the pain that you as a child were never able to resolve, see your parents resolve, or resolve with your parents.  This theory is outlined in a book called Intimate Partners: Patterns in Love and Marriage (Amazon Link), and I read it before I got married, but I didn’t really get it until now because I didn’t know what those patterns were until I was immersed in it as an adult and mother.

What happens when someone in a marriage (with kids) finally realizes that the pattern is not resolvable or they don’t know how to, don’t want to, or can’t resolve it?  They suffer or get divorced and the pain is horrid.  Especially the pain you feel for the kids as you imagine the pain they might feel.  I lived through a divorce myself as a child and was often caught in the middle of a lot of bitterness and anger, and I have relived that pain for my kids even though it’s a completely different situation and their dad is a very good, involved father.

What’s even harder is when you are both good people that happened to have a lot of unexpected crap happen throughout the marriage.  You wonder what is wrong with you.  When in most cases, there is really nothing wrong with you, but you look back and realize that neither of you knew how to nurture a marriage or you didn’t see or understand the signs that should have been big clues that something huge needed to fundamentally change in each of you.  It’s like you both have blinders on until suddenly one of you takes them off and doesn’t like what they see, don’t see, feel, or don’t feel.  Marriage, like life, does not come with an instruction manual and even if it did everyone is so different it would be hard to apply to your unique marriage and you would think you could wing it or that it didn’t apply to you.  There are more instructions around a divorce which requires a signed agreement between the two of you outlining your responsibilities than there is before a marriage.

So, yes I just got divorced after what was probably close to a year of being separated mentally, if not physically.  This past year is somewhat of a blur.  It’s the hardest emotional, mental, and spiritual pain I’ve ever experienced and unfortunately there are no legal drugs I can take to make the pain disappear in a few weeks.  Despite the fact that 50%-60% of marriages end up in divorce, it is the 2nd most stress inducing event anyone can experience behind death of a loved one.  And it doesn’t really matter if you are the one leaving, the one being left, or it’s mutual.  Mix divorce with unusual work dynamics, kids, and other personal issues and you have a recipe for a potential breakdown.  Fortunately, I am very lucky/blessed to have wonderful friends, co-workers, family friends, and family who have supported me and let me cry on the phone, on email (yes, it’s possible to cry on email) or in front of them and repeatedly (until I’m sure they were sick of it) told me that everything will be OK.  They let me say and write stupid (although sometimes funny) things and were kind anyway.  I have never felt so out of control in my life!  I mean I’ve gone months without reconciling my check book, was late on a couple of house payments, and my house (although overall neat) more disorganized than I’d like.  Plus a whole shit load of other emotional stuff.

I’m still a ways away from being back to normal whatever that is, but we both love the kids immensely and right now we can’t foresee not being friends and friendly for their sakes.  From my perspective, we both still respect each other and as hard as this has been, we’ve both taken the high road because that’s the kind of people we are, and we know it’s best for the kids.  A child counselor told us it was obvious we loved the kids and they loved us.  She also said that they got along so well with each other, were exhibiting normal behavior for going through what they were going through, and seemed happy despite what they were experiencing which of course took off about 80% of my maternal guilt.   I did a post back in September 2009, called Double The Trouble, Double The Fun which stemmed from me feeling glad they had each other during this hard time their parents were going through.  I felt that I/we had done at least one thing right by giving them the gift of each other to weather storms that life will inevitably bring them.

So now you know why I had such a long break from writing on the blog.  My personal life started to bleed into the blog, and I needed to get a handle on things for a little while.  I think back to that Entrepreneurial Ledge where I stood almost a year and a half ago.  When your sleeping heart wakes up suddenly, it’s a very disorientating, scary feeling.  It’s like gasping for air while at the same time trying to soak in all the colors, beauty, sounds, smells, shapes, feelings that you have not noticed/felt for years.  You start falling in love with life again and it seems that pain is a part of love.  You unknowingly/desperately reach out to people, anyone kind nearby to help ease this searing pain. In the case of some friends and family, they are there for you in ways you never imagined.  In the case of others, they can’t or don’t know how to be there like you want/need them to be and it exacerbates and magnifies the pain.  You start to realize that you are really reaching out to your lost self and the only one who can save you from drowning is YOU.  Then you start the process of excruciatingly, slowly mending a broken heart and falling in love with yourself…and you wonder why and when you fell out of love in the first place.

Thank you for reading.

About the photo:  The photo above is of a piece of art that my cousin, who goes by the pseudonym of Isaac Falconer, made for me when I told her I was getting a divorce.  I didn’t get to see her that often growing up.  She is a unique, vibrant, passionate individual.  She has followed her own path and seems to have found happiness in doing so as well as people who appreciate and buy her art!  She has even exhibited in Italy.  The piece is called No Pleasure Garden (c) 2009 and it’s made of Chantilly lace from Italy with hand made hypo allergenic orchids affixed to two locations on the huge piece of lace.  In her words, “It’s meant to be placed across the bottom of your bed as a reminder to you of YOUR personal glory – which has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with your life-mate or your kids or your professional work.“  It looks so lovely at the bottom of my bed and makes me smile when I enter the room.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, breastfeeding, father, marriage, mother, parenting | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments »

Contemplating A Blogging Break
Nov 4 2009

I’m seriously considering a very long blogging break while I figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Or shall I say what I want this blog to be as it grows up.  The posts have been kind of random lately…a bit out of focus like I feel these days.

I was having lunch with one of my advisers today who always pumps me up.   He’s almost 70 years old and calls himself a recycled dad because he has grand kids older than his youngest kids.  I like him a lot because he’s used to working with strong, smart, professional women.  In the company he founded some 30 years ago when it wasn’t cool to hire women in senior positions, he had the most on his team.  He always jokes that he knows that women are the ones who get things done.  I think he grew up with 4 sisters.  He told me no matter what happens that I should be confident in 3 things about myself.  I told him I’ll put those 3 things on a note on the mirror or at least repeat them to myself.  It’s nice to have people believe in you!  He also said something like don’t worry about how things didn’t work out, just change your perspective and move forward.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m interested in the bioscience/health care field, and I’m figuring out how I can use my current job to find opportunities to learn more about those industries.  I’m also enjoying my time singing and learning more about singing.  I wonder if I can combine some sort of music with biotech and create an interesting business…

So while I make some decisions, I’ll leave you with a post by Seth Godin and some song lyrics by Bob Dylan that my friend Robb Lanum has been sending out the last several weeks on our email club.  I know Robb via his cousin Jay, who is married to Sandy (link to her photo site).   Oh the things that get written on that email club…I hope never see the light of day.  At least I’m never planning to run for political office!  I never listened to Bob Dylan growing up and don’t really know much about him but Robb has been randomly sending out these lyrics and they have been strangely poignant.

I hope you all will still be here when I get back.

Make a decision – by Seth Godin

It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.

In fact, make several. Make more decisions could be your three word mantra.

No decision is a decision as well, the decision not to decide. Not deciding is usually the wrong decision. If you are the go-to person, the one who can decide, you’ll make more of a difference. It doesn’t matter so much that you’re right, it matters that you decided.

Of course it’s risky and painful. That’s why it’s a rare and valuable skill.

Summer Days – Bob Dylan 2001

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready – lift up your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing
Well, I’m standin’ on the table, I’m proposing a toast to the King

Well I’m drivin’ in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, “You’re a worn out star”
My pockets are loaded and I’m spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you notice me all the time?

Well, the fog’s so thick you can’t spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can’t even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can’t stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin’, the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She says, “You can’t repeat the past.” I say, “You can’t? What do you mean you can’t? Of course you can.”

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that is nothin’ you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it’s stuck
Why don’t you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I’m using ‘em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I’m using ‘em all
I’m short on gas, my motor’s starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin’, pretty baby, but the nails ain’t goin’ down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it’s information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin’ the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes – you been teasing me

Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
I’m countin’ on you love, to give me a break

Well, I’m leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I’m leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in – set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

Spirit on the Water – Bob Dylan 2006

Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep
I keep thinking about you babe
And I can’t hardly sleep

I’m traveling by land
Traveling through the dawn of day
You’re always on my mind
I can’t stay away

I’d forgotten about you
Then you turned up again
I always knew
We were meant to be more than friends

When you are near
It’s just as plain as it can be
I’m wild about you, gal
You ought to be a fool about me

Can’t explain
The sources of this hidden pain
You burned your way into my heart
And you got the key to my brain

I’ve been trampling through mud
Praying to the powers above
I’m sweating blood
You got a face that begs for love

Life without you
Doesn’t mean a thing to me
If I can’t have you,
I’ll throw my love into the deep blue sea

Sometimes I wonder
Why you can’t treat me right
You do good all day
Then you do wrong all night

When you’re with me
I’m a thousand times happier than I could ever say
What does it matter
What price I pay?

They brag about your sugar
Brag about it all over town
Put some sugar in my bowl
I feel like laying down

I’m pale as a ghost
Holding a blossom on a stem
You ever seen a ghost? No
But you have heard of them

I see you there
I’m blinded by the colors I see
I take good care
Of what belongs to me

I hear your name
Ringing up and down the line
I’m saying it plain
These ties are strong enough to bind

Your sweet voice
Calls out from some old familiar shrine
I got no choice
Can’t believe these things would ever fade from your mind

I could live forever
With you perfectly
You don’t ever
Have to make a fuss over me

From East to West
Ever since the world began
I’m only in it for the best
I want to be with you any way I can

I been in a brawl
Now I’m feeling the wall
I’m going away baby
I won’t be back ‘til fall

High on the hill
You can carry all my thoughts with you
You’ve numbed my will
This love could tear me in two

I wanna be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can’t go to paradise no more
I killed a man back there

You think I’m over the hill
You think I’m past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin’ good time

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About Writing
Sep 24 2009

I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’m not writing as frequently as I have in the past on my blog.  This is due to a variety of things being led by lack of time and inspiration as well as logistics.  I have also been doing some personal hand written journaling so some of my writing needs have been met through that avenue.  The thing about writing, at least for me, is that I often have to have a spark of inspiration to start something and then it usually flows.

When I started this blog over 2 years ago now, I felt like I was forced to write because I started it as a tool to promote and build awareness of my business, Babble Soft.  So I dutifully wrote.  Somewhere along the way, the duty wore off and I started to enjoy it.  The comments helped but even when the comments weren’t numerous, I knew hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people were reading (thanks to feedburner, google analytics, and wordpress stats tools), and I was getting something out of it too.

It has became a vehicle for me to sort through and share insights in business, parenting, and life in a somewhat thoughtful, crafted, connect the dots sort of way.  For some of my posts I take all the swirling raw thoughts and attempt to distill them down into something usually coherent and sometimes imbibed with meaning that only myself or those close to me can sometimes fully understand.  Yet hopefully most people take something away that helps them in business or life…or if not maybe it’s sometimes entertaining?

Since I’ve started blogging, I have come to better appreciate the nuances of writers whose works we analyzed in depth in high school or college English classes.  As much as we try to infer from their writing what they were experiencing or trying to convey, we will miss much of it.  We probably made up stuff that actually never crossed the writer’s mind at all and did not pay attention to certain words and phrases that were full of meaning to the writer herself, but to other than maybe a few people who shared her space in time would be summarily dismissed.  As a woman writer, I’m particularly aware of how women writer’s even 50+ years ago had to make sure their writing not only lived up to their image as the fairer, weaker, well mannered, and sublime sex but also didn’t offend those who could not fathom the depth of a woman’s knowledge, insight, and passion.

As a South Asian, naturalized American, woman writer writing on the topic of entrepreneurship, leadership, management, (the aforementioned still typically a man’s world) and parenting, whose family sometimes reads her blog, I choose my words as carefully as I can.  Outside the blog, the words sometimes come out a lot messier, less filtered, and a bit more humorous for some reason.  The constraints and richness those life experiences and labels give me have added greatly to what moderate success I have achieved as well as sometimes to my self imposed dramatic misery.  :-)

I have made two attempts to write a larger body of work to publish.  One was a fiction novel I started back in 2001 after leaving my first company about a devastatingly handsome, blue-eyed, Jewish male CEO, an Asian female CEO, their relationship, and their different experiences starting technology companies.  I created an outline, table of contents, and generated probably about 16 pages and then soon after got pregnant.  My first readers (my sister and cousin) seemed to like it, but because life with kids started I left it sitting idly in my computer. Fortunately I printed it out because in one of our upgrades, the soft copy disappeared.  I’ve since scanned it back in and one day hope to do something with it.

The second attempt was to write a book on the meaning of life which I discovered most people were uncomfortable talking about so I morphed it to the meaning of success.  I got many more people to speak with me but couldn’t really find the right way to pull it together or an interested publisher, so I morphed that project into the university alumni magazine articles on the Success Profiles page of this blog.  The great thing was that I actually got paid for those articles!

I sometimes get frustrated at not having the time or energy to finish that fiction novel, but I keep recalling something that one of the wives of the people I interviewed for the Meaning of Success book said.  She was a writer and interestingly she wrote about being a vegetarian and hating people who eat meat I think, but she said ‘let the writing marinate in the juices of your life.’   Which thinking about that statement right now is ironic considering you probably marinate meat more than you marinate vegetables.  But anyway, she said writing can’t be rushed and it will happen when the time is right.  Whenever I say this on my email club of college friends, my screen writer by night and document proofer friend by day, Robb Lanum, who lives in Los Angeles, gives me a hard time and tells me what he pictures when I say that.  A description of his vision is not suitable for this blog but it has something to do with the word ‘juices,’ and he’s a guy so you can probably infer the rest!

On an unrelated note, Robb finally finished a script based on a challenge I gave him two years ago to write a main stream script.  He completed it a few weeks ago and I, The Annoying Challenger, still have not had the time to read it and others on our email club have already read it.  It pains me actually.

So I keep wondering when all this marinating will be done and when the juices of life will be more manageable so I can write a book that might get published some day…

Oh and by the way, stay tuned for some interesting news about Babble Soft in the next few weeks! 8-)

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A Quick SXSW Post – Guy Kawasaki
Mar 14 2009

028I just finished my second day at SXSW.  The first day left me a little hung over, tired, wanting a nap.  I got my 2nd wind right about the time I ran into Erica O’Grady in the Microsoft Windows Mobile Blog Lounge mid afternoon.  Ironically enough 95% of the people in the lounge have iPhones.

Erica is so awesome!  She is one of the 25 people selected as the Austin American Statesman’s Texas Social Media Award recipients.  I was also nominated but people like Erica, who are the master-esses of the social media world, truly deserve it.  I don’t think I had seen her since last year.  She’s one of the happiest people I’ve ever met and tweeted with.  When she stepped out of the lounge, I borrowed her pink hat and asked Brian Solis (who Erica introduced me to) to take a picture of me with another social media/entrepreneur great: Guy Kawasaki.

We spoke with Garage.com (founded by Guy) back when we were doing our first high tech start-up and at one point we had a t-shirt our son wore when he was a toddler that said “Garage.com. My favorite letters are I, P, and O.“  8)

Guy is one of the most down to earth tech entrepreneurs you can meet.  He graciously has me and my blog listed in a few places in his AllTop library sites (Mom Bloggers, Twitterati, Startups, etc.).

I hope I and my panelists are coherent by the time my panel – Building A Web Business After Hours – rolls around on Monday, March 16 at 3:30 pm!

Author: | Filed under: blogging, conferences | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Lovely Linky Links
Jan 29 2009

Just had to share the following links…

Pre-Judging Other People – Never A Good Idea – I read this post by Thom Singer back on January 17 and it’s been sitting in my in box because I knew I wanted to link to it.  He tells a story about how he was in a vegan restaurant reading Thomas Friedman’s book Flat, Hot, and Crowded and ran into a woman who had heard him speak about networking at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.  She had made assumptions about him based on his talk, and he was unaware of the faux pax he was committing wearing a leather jacket at the vegan restaurant.  A great and entertaining read…especially if you know Thom.

Who You Are And What You Do – I read this one right after reading Thom’s post I mentioned above and thought how appropriate given that on this post Seth Godin discusses how people form a judgment of you online.  If you do certain things, people make judgments based on what they see you do.  The key takeaway for me was “If you’re not happy with the perception you generate, change the words you type and the messages you send.

Love (and Annoying) – Another great one by Seth Godin.  I just love the way he writes and how he ties easily understandable concepts to the marketing of products.  He starts off his post with “The goal is to create a product that people love. If people love it, they’ll forgive a lot. They’ll talk about it. They’ll promote it. They’ll come back. They’ll be less price sensitive. They’ll bring their friends. They’ll work with you to make it better.  If you can’t do that, though, perhaps you can make your service or product less annoying.“  Great advice not only for marketing products but also in life!

The Global Hug Tour – I found out about this on twitter.  It’s an endeavor by 2 people in a small prop plane, flying around the world, delivering 100,000 hugs and $1,000,000 to important causes.  I remember reading somewhere on their site or elsewhere that people need (or should get) at least 7 hugs per day.  Now that’s a lot of hugs if you don’t have little kids because I’m sure I beat the little kid hug daily quota often!  My kids are just so hug-able. :-)

For just $10 you too can be a Hug Amassador!  This feat is being run by Gail Goodwin and her husband and press will be following them to make sure the money actually goes towards hugs and not a second house!  This endeavor particularly resonated with me because I once heard a story about the orphans in Romania who were never touched.  The babies were left alone to cry and ocassionally given food but never held and cuddled.  The story showed those children when they were older and how difficult it was for them to adapt to society, how they couldn’t relate to others, and how desparately lonely they looked.  I can’t imagine someone not wanting to hold and touch a little baby.  Us humans are such social creatures that sharing a hug can go a long way.  Many of us in the online world know that we can even give virtual hugs by putting someone’s name in brackets so here’s a hug to {{my blog readers}}.

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